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Operations Research

Operations research, or management science, is the application of advanced analytical methods in mathematics to complex business decision-making problems. By using mathematical methods, analysts can model business decisions and solve optimization problems (such as profit maximization or cost minimization problems) using linear and nonlinear programming and statistical analysis. These problems are simplified with the use of computer programs such as Excel Solver.

Linear Programming (LP)

Linear programming is concerned with the optimization (minimization or maximization) of a linear function while satisfying a set of linear equalities and/or inequalities (collectively known as constraints). Linear programming in operations research can be applied to a variety of problems.

Resource allocation: The most typical problems in business are resource allocation problems. For example, a common type of resource allocation problem is the problem of product mix, which looks at the optimal mix of products that will maximize profit subject to resource constraints such as limited machine time or a limited quantity of a necessary input. A solution to this problem will also provide other valuable information that may allow the student to identify bottlenecks, find the range over which the unit profit can change without affecting the product mix, identify the marginal benefit of adding additional units of the limited resource, and find the range of quantity over which the availability of the resource can change without affecting the identity of the bottleneck in the system.

Blending: Blending problems are problems that involve finding the optimal blend or mix of ingredients in order to minimize costs and satisfy some additional requirement. For example, crude oil blending allows refineries to mix different crude oil products to achieve some optimal and consistent product. Similarly, ingredients in animal feed stock may be combined in different amounts to achieve some optimal blend that meets minimum nutritional requirements.

Queuing: Queuing models look at resource decisions such as determining optimal inventory levels to minimize costs in the face of fixed ordering costs (such as delivery costs), carrying costs for units on hand, seasonal price fluctuations, and fluctuations in demand (and costs associated with stock outs).

Scheduling: Scheduling problems include problems such as personnel staffing, project tasks, and determining the optimal coverage of sporting events.

Network flow and network optimization: Network flow problems are a special case in linear programming that look at things like transportation or routing problems, critical path analysis (project management), the assignment problem, and other flow problems.

Facility location: Facility location problems look to minimize things like transportation costs, or address other criteria such as taking advantage of price-differentials in the case of low-cost labour in other jurisdictions.  Facility location problems also include problems such as floor planning.

Investment decisions: Linear programming can also be used to solve investment problems such as designing the optimal portfolio to minimize, or hedge, risk.

Nonlinear Programming

Nonlinear programming problems are similar to linear programming problems in that they involve the optimization of an objective function while satisfying a set of equalities and/or inequalities. However, unlike linear programs, nonlinear programs exist where the objective function or some of the constraints are nonlinear. For example, linear problems may become nonlinear problems if one of the cost functions exhibits economies of scale.

Integer Programming

Integer programming refers to linear or nonlinear optimization problems where some of the variables are required to take on discrete values. They can be modeled with binomial variables that take on values of either zero or one. Many business decision problems require integer programming because their variable units must be whole numbers. For example, it would not make sense for a optimal solution to require a company to build half a factory in one location, to produce only one-third of a widget, to keep 20 and 1/8 units of inventory on hand, to hire less than one person, or to route half a bus one way and the other half another. Thus program designers are faced with a finite set of alternatives and face discrete decision problems.

Dynamic Programming

Dynamic programming involves problems that require a sequence of decisions over time, where one decision must follow logically from the preceding outcome. Many investment decisions are modeled using dynamic programming, because sell, hold, or buy decisions can be programmed in the model based on fluctuations in the prices of securities.

Monte Carlo Simulation

Monte Carlo methods involve repeated random sampling in order to obtain variables or outcomes. Therefore, by running the simulation again and again, a computer program can provide results in the form of statistical probabilities. The name derives from the fact that the simulation can be likened to gambling at a casino, recording your winnings, and determining from this information the probability of winning your next hand. 

Queuing model for single server system

Queuing theory is widely used and applied in the field of operations management. Decisions about resources and assets to deploy in service industries like banking, hospitality, travel and federal offices are based on applications of queuing theory. There are several queuing or waiting line models available which can be applied t

Alaska Coffee cost-volume-profit and recommendations

Read the following case study: Motivated by his ambitions and previous work in coffee shops, Angelo is moving to Barrow, Alaska, to open a shop he has named Alaska Coffee. Angelo intends to sell coffee, espresso, and a couple of food items. He has signed a lease for a shop on one of the main streets and is moving in. His pare

Nike case study video

Review the Nike case study, which can be viewed by accessing the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5uYCWVfuPQ Once you have viewed the case scenario, respond to the following questions, with thorough explanations and well- supported rationale: 1. These workers state the "only thing they have is their work." T

Water Heater Life Cycle Cost

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Case Method of Data Collection: Worldviews

Post an assessment of the alignment between professional and academic worldviews within your doctoral research: Be sure to include the below in the assessment 1. Briefly describe whether your perspective as a qualitative researcher aligns more closely with either Yin or Stake's worldview. Be sure to include illustrative ex

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Organization Research

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Process Design Matrix Explanation

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Cost of Production Effects

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Suppose that a firm is considering moving from a batch process to a line process to better meet evolving market needs. What concerns might the following functions have about this proposed change? Marketing Finance Human Resources Accounting Information Systems 2-3 pages long

Procurement & Supply Chain IT integration

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Literature Review Explanations

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Foreign Exchange Rate Risk

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Competitiveness and Inventory Management or Safety Stock

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Doctoral Study for a Target Population

Analyze ethical considerations that require attention for a target population when conducting the process of doctoral research. The analysis must encompass, a brief description of a target population within the Doctoral Study, as well as any applicable aspects that could be examined by the Institutional Review Board. A brief des

AES Global Sourcing Initiative

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Research Thinking

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South Korea: Managerial Behavior

Your company plans to establish MNE manufacturing operations in South Korea. You have been asked to conduct a cultural audit focusing on leadership behaviors of South Korea. The results of your report will be used for internal training for plant managers due to be reassigned to work with South Korean managers in a few months. Yo

Qualitative research designs

evaluate qualitative research questions in assigned journal articles in your discipline and consider the alignment of theory, problem, purpose, research questions, and design. You will also identify the type of qualitative research design the authors used and explain how it was implemented. Provide a 1-2 page critique of the

Four Functions of Management

Most managers in organizations develop strategic plans without realizing the importance of internal and external assessments and their implications on the four functions of management. Assume you are hired as a new manager and you want to improve your company by helping upper management develop a better understanding of these is

International Aspect of Business

Select an article published in January 2012 or later that deals with the international aspects of doing business. Must have all of the following parts: - Summary: It must provide the reader a very good idea of what the article is about, even without having read the article. -Thoughts About the Article -References

Annotation of a Quantitative Research Article

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Coffee: The Legal King of Colombian Exports

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Global Technical Systems versus Department of Navy

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Chocolate and the exploitation of children.

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Performance Work Statement

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